Friday, March 19, 2021

Best/Worst 4 Year Stretches in UNC Program History

Looking back at my four years attending North Carolina, it felt that I got fairly unlucky over the exact four year stretch I was there with respect to the men's basketball team's success, overlapping with the 2012 to 2015 NCAA tournaments. Three years prior, we won a title in 2009, and the the year after I left we lost in the championship game (winning another title the year after that). The furthest we advanced was the Elite Eight in 2012, so if my college career had been shifted by three years in either direction, I would have been there for a title.

I looked back to determine how low of a four year stretch my college career oversaw. While critical metrics like win percentage or how often we beat Dook matter a lot, the barometer I'll be using is how much success the teams had in the NCAA tournament. To calculate this, I assigned point values to each round, with a championship win getting a max score of 7, a championship game loss a 6, Final Four a 5, etc down to a first round exit worth 1 point and NIT/no postseason worth 0. I went back to 1975, when the tournament field expanded to 32 teams.

It turns out my graduating year (2015) ranked in a 5-way tie for 33rd out of 44 seasons by this calculation, and 35th by win percentage. So pretty far down the list, but not second to last like this year's senior class has witnessed (losing in the first round for the first time in Roy's career, plus of course a global pandemic) or the period around the Doherty years.

#2 though: 1983, the year my dad graduated from Carolina, and the #1 four year stretch in modern program history: 1984, the year my mom graduated from Carolina. Both of which witnessed Michael Jordan make the game winner in the 1982 title game.

1983–84SmithNCAA Regional Semifinal120185.15%
1982–83SmithNCAA Regional Final2191180.67%
1984–85SmithNCAA Regional Final318484.30%
1992–93SmithNCAA Championship3182875.95%
2007–08WilliamsNCAA National Semifinal318384.32%
2008–09WilliamsNCAA Championship318284.39%
2016–17WilliamsNCAA Championship3182776.00%
2017–18WilliamsNCAA Second Round3182975.92%
2018–19WilliamsNCAA Regional Semifinal3181878.96%
1981–82SmithNCAA Championship10171081.06%
1993–94SmithNCAA Second Round10171280.51%
1994–95SmithNCAA National Semifinal10171380.38%
1997–98GuthridgeNCAA National Semifinal10171579.36%
1995–96SmithNCAA Second Round14161579.36%
1999–00GuthridgeNCAA National Semifinal14163275.29%
2009–10WilliamsNIT Runner-Up14161779.35%
2010–11WilliamsNCAA Regional Final14161978.55%
1987–88SmithNCAA Regional Final1815781.41%
1990–91SmithNCAA National Semifinal18153175.60%
2006–07WilliamsNCAA Regional Final18152277.07%
2011–12WilliamsNCAA Regional Final18152476.53%
1985–86SmithNCAA Regional Semifinal2214881.36%
1986–87SmithNCAA Regional Final2214584.14%
1988–89SmithNCAA Regional Semifinal2214682.26%
1989–90SmithNCAA Regional Semifinal22142177.11%
1991–92SmithNCAA Regional Semifinal22143473.17%
1996–97SmithNCAA National Semifinal22142376.99%
1998–99GuthridgeNCAA First Round28132576.42%
2000–01DohertyNCAA Second Round28133374.99%
2015–16WilliamsNCAA Runner-Up28133672.74%
2013–14WilliamsNCAA Third Round31123075.66%
1977–78SmithNCAA First Round33111479.86%
1979–80SmithNCAA Second Round33112077.69%
1980–81SmithNCAA Runner-Up33112676.07%
2005–06WilliamsNCAA Second Round33113870.25%
2014–15WilliamsNCAA Regional Semifinal33113573.17%
1978–79SmithNCAA Second Round3810981.14%
2012–13WilliamsNCAA Third Round38103771.52%
2004–05WilliamsNCAA Championship4094258.84%
2002–03DohertyNIT Quarterfinals4274455.69%
2020–21WilliamsNCAA First Round4364064.15%
2003–04WilliamsNCAA Second Round4444356.24%

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"What are the odds?" Of Any In-State Team, or All #1 Seeds, Reaching the Final Four

While tickets are not available yet on Ticketmaster (or most of the secondary), the Final Four is on track to be a less premium event than normal (pandemic aside). Using my past six seasons of predicted brackets from the MDS Model, we can calculate the odds of a team from within the host state reaching the Final Four, or all four #1 seeds making it to the semifinals, which has only occurred once before, in 2008.

Usually there's a decent chance of an in-state team (this year, from Indiana) reaching the Final Four, but this year Purdue is the only team from the state in this year’s field, resulting in lower than normal chances of at least one school from the home state reaching the Final Four: 

The probability of all 1-seeds reaching the Final Four, on the other hand, is higher than normal - the second highest in recent years. This is largely boosted by Gonzaga, which has a 52.7% chance of reaching the Final Four (30-35% for the 1-seed is average). Even then, this is dwarfed by 2015, which was buoyed largely by Kentucky (78.5%, by far the highest ever in my model, and actually broke it in 2015).